“Can’t Get You Out of My Head”: How Our Identity Shapes the Way That We Listen

Dat, Mylyn Caroline (2014). “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”: How Our Identity Shapes the Way That We Listen Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Dat, Mylyn Caroline
Thesis Title “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”: How Our Identity Shapes the Way That We Listen
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2014-10-07
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Katharine Greenway
Total pages 118
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Past research on the “catchiness” of songs has proposed that physical properties such as rhythmic patterns and the use of repetition lead to memorability and liking. I took a novel perspective on this issue and investigated how social identity could provide a lens through which individuals perceived music. I predicted that when the source of a song appears to be aligned with an individual’s social identity (e.g., the song will be played on a radio station that they identify with), they would like it more, encode and process the song more richly and experience greater wellbeing outcomes. Participants (N = 132) were randomly assigned to think about themselves as either a NOVA or Triple J radio listener before listening to a new song, not previously released to the public. All participants listened to the same song, but the source of this song was attributed to a band that was described to be only ever played on either NOVA or Triple J. Participants completed measures on self-reported engagement, behavioural engagement, perceptual encoding and wellbeing. There was some suggestion that participants showed greater signs of behavioural engagement, which indicated greater signs of liking, when the source of the song was consistent, rather than inconsistent with their social identity as either a NOVA or Triple J listener. There was also some suggestion that self-reported levels of wellbeing were higher when the source of the song was consistent with participants’ identity. However, whether the source of the song was consistent or inconsistent with participants’ identity made no difference for self-reported engagement and perceptual encoding. These results suggested that social identity may be able to shape the way that an auditory stimulus is heard and processed on a deep perceptual level, with practical implications for the type of music individuals like to listen to.
Keyword Social identity
Behavioural engagement

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Created: Wed, 20 May 2015, 16:05:28 EST by Louise Grainger on behalf of School of Psychology